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Earthworms mating

On warm mornings, usually before the sun is up, you can sometimes see Earthworms mating on the surface of the soil, with their bodies pressed against each other, exchanging sperm.  Each earthworm has both male and female reproductive organs and can produce both eggs and sperm.

The warming effect of the sun in March brings Earthworms closer to the surface.  This is good news for the soil around them because as the worms move through it they loosen it and increase the amount of air and water which gets in.  Having earthworms at the surface is obviously also good news for the animals which feed on earthworms like toads, badgers and blackbirds!

Tread lightly as you watch them as any vibrations send them wriggling back underground.  If you use a torch that will also scare them off, but if you put some red cellophane over the front of the torch it can help, as they don't notice red light.

More info at: UK Safari Earthworms Fact File

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